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Husch Blackwell Adopts Mansfield Rule

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Husch Blackwell’s adoption of the Mansfield Rule is “a natural extension of what we have been doing all along.”

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that the firm will participate in Diversity Lab’s 2018 Mansfield certification program, an initiative intended to drive greater consideration of minority and women professionals for promotions, senior level hires and leadership roles within the legal industry. The program’s benchmark, the Mansfield Rule, requires that at least thirty percent of candidate pools for selected job titles be comprised of female and/or minority professionals and that firms must “affirmatively consider” their candidacies.

The Mansfield certification program is developed and spearheaded by Diversity Lab, a consultancy that creates and experiments with innovative ways to close the gender gap and boost diversity. The Mansfield rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to practice law in the United States. The program developed from an idea initially presented during a pitch competition sponsored by Diversity Lab that sought to discover new approaches to improving diversity inside of large law firms. The first Mansfield certification program was launched in 2017.

As part of its participation in the 2018 Mansfield certification program, Husch Blackwell will implement the program’s benchmark in connection with the following job titles and roles:

  • Equity Partner Promotions
  • Lateral Partner and Mid-Senior Level Associate Searches
  • Practice Group & Office Head Leadership
  • Management/Executive Committee and/or Board of Directors
  • Partner Promotions/Nominations Committee
  • Compensation Committee
  • Chairperson and/or Managing Partner
  • Director and Chief-Level Administrative Positions 

To receive certification, participating firms must consider female and/or minority attorneys for seventy percent or more of vacancies in these positions and roles over the one-year period of the program.

“We view the implementation of the Mansfield rule as a natural extension of what we have been doing all along,” said Husch Blackwell’s Chief Executive Paul Eberle. “It is an expression of our firm’s culture and—crucially—it provides a methodology for ensuring fairness.”

“People tend to measure the things that are important to them, so it makes a lot of sense to put into place hard targets for considering talented female and minority job candidates,” said Husch Blackwell Chairman Greg Smith. “We are proud to sign on to the program and hope that our participation will spur other firms to consider the benefits of doing likewise.”


Gregory R. Smith

Senior Counsel